Unedited interview with Aseem Chhabra, Bhavana Nagulapally and Manish Acharya, about the Ramayana. Clips from this became the narration (via "shadow puppets") in Sita Sings the Blues. Recorded April 22, 2007. Audio Engineer: Greg Sextro. Interviewed by Nina Paley.
There's a running gag about Nina being a "white Christian woman," because that morning some angry and confused online Hindutvadis couldn't tell if she was that, or a "bad Hindu girl." (In fact Nina Paley is neither Hindu nor Christian, but assimilated Ashkenazi Jew.)
March 23, 2011 Subject:
Black and White
Ramayana is all about duties(dharma) and the sacrifices one has to make in performing those duties.
Rama's problems starts right around the time when he starts to become the king of ayodhya. He has two duties now: 1) Duties towards his wife 2) Duties towards his kingdom
The duties start colliding with each other and rama is faced with a dilemma. Rama decides to sacrifice his family simply because that is his purpose. He has come to earth to establish "ram rajya" or a moral order.
Throughout the epic, sita remains true to her duties. She remains faithful. She raises the kids and watches them unite with her father. After this, she considers her duties fulfilled and reveals that she has hardly ever been happy because of the burden of the duties. She chooses to withdraw from her life and takes refuge in her mother's(earth) arms.
The moral of ramayana is that no one can perform duties to its fullest; Not even rama(the avatar of vishnu). Those who seek to perform duties may not lead happy lives.
Sita did not do it for rama. She did it to honour her duties. She chose "duty" over the pursuit of happiness.
Rama fulfilled his purpose. He sacrificed his family for it and thus forever inviting controversy on the morality of his actions. He defeated his emotional attachments for his people. He proved to be a worthy king. But a bad husband. His duties prevent him from being both.
Rama is a "human god". He shows all the emotional characteristics of human beings.
The mahabharata is much more complex than ramayana because here the characters are pounded with not just one or two simultaneous duties but several and hence the subjective interpretation of MB is 50 times more possible than RY. Clearly, whoever wrote this mindfuk is not an ordinary human being.